Published: 12th May 2020
This Kannada short film that highlights four superstitions in the Garden City, was filmed in just two days!
Nam Devaru Aathara is a Kannada short film on four superstitions, all based on one common thread - religious faith manipulation
As soon as the Coronavirus outbreak hit India, so did the many superstitions that are automatically associated with such a crisis. From blaming the stars to the eclipse - people began to state the different superstitions they believed in and new ones reared their ugly head as well, still circulating across social media. But the word 'superstition' is not alien to us like 'quarantine' or 'hydroxychloroquine' which have become popular since the outbreak. What if we tell you that superstitions have taken different roles even in a modern city like the Garden City? Unbelievable but true, the team at Baaki Pictures scoured the outskirts of Bengaluru city last year - around a 200 km radius - and filmed four different superstitions in a span of two days.
Four superstitions are shown in the movie
Produced by Baaki Pictures, Nam Devaru Aathara (translates to 'Our Gods are Like That' in Kannada) is a 30-minute documentary that talks about the most common superstitious beliefs in Karnataka. "One of the stories talks about a farmer-turned-godman who claims to have the power of Lord Shani (God of Justice) after he was knocked on the head by a crow. The second is about women being forced to stay in a mud house during pregnancy or menstruation. The third talks about a clash that broke out when a Dalit woman entered a temple and the fourth is about a Dargah where people who are believed to be possessed by evil spirits are gathered, which mostly consists of women," shares Premkrishna Akkattu, title designer and a prominent member of the crew.
With that description, we figured out a common thread - religious faith manipulation. "The film's point was to document superstitions that question a person's dignity," shares Sraiyanti Haricharan, the director, who recalls another incident, "There was a man who was traumatised after his mother passed away while she was in the mud house. Though it has been years since his mother's demise, the trauma still haunts him."
We wondered how they got access to these uncommon tales in two days. Prem informs, "People's Science Movement approached us with the idea. They gave us the contacts and with a bit of networking, we managed to shoot the film in the short span of time." The trailer is out on YouTube (released last May) and the documentary is set to release online any time soon. "We have already screened it at multiple film festivals and have also bagged awards," tells Sraiyanti. Discussing their future prospects, Prem concludes, "We were shooting the life of a few families living in the Chennai dump yard but unfortunately, we couldn't complete it on time due to the lockdown. Our plan is to make it a feature-length documentary."
Best Short Documentary in Kalaburagi International Film Festival 2019
Runner up Best Documentary in New Delhi International Film Festival 2019
Kolkata People's Film Festival 2020
Jaipur International Film Festival 2020